A Quick Hiatus...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's finally SUMMER. *throws on sunglasses* Time to hack into my TBR, make a couple s'mores, and write till my heart's content. *dreamy sigh*
You all have probably noticed this, but I haven't been very active in the blogosphere lately. And to tell you the truth, I will continue to not be for awhile, due to more camping escapades, so I'll be going on a quick blogging hiatus until July. Don't worry, I'll be back soon, and you'll get to look forward to....
Some monthly highlights.
A post about 6 things my dad has taught me (I'm late again xD).
A quick blog series about some of my favorite books.
The writer's tag. 
I hope to see you all around here soon! =)


 What are you doing this summer? What's on your TBR? What's blasting through your headphones?


Is Writing A Real Job?-Guest Post By Tessa Emily Hall

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today, I've had the opportunity to swap blogs with YA author Tessa Emily Hall! =) Check out my post on researching for your novel over at her blog here. Enjoy reading! =) I hope to see y'all in the comments! 
At 18-years-old, I faced a crossroads in my life: Pursue my heart’s desire to write, or settle for a stable career. A career that most people would consider to be a “real job” as opposed to being a writer.

I wasn’t at this crossroads for too long before I remembered I have absolutely no other passions or gifts that aren’t related to books and writing. (Other than acting, which isn’t necessarily considered a “real job”, either.)

Now that I’m 23 and have been journeying along this writing path for seven years now, I can say with confidence that, yes, writing is a real job. No, it’s not just a hobby. If it was just a hobby then I would not be making an income right now.

Think about the text we’re exposed to every day: Textbooks. Novels. Non-fiction books. Magazines. Newspapers. Newsletters. Ads. Manuals. TV and film (scripts). Catalogs. Greeting cards. Website copy. All of this text is written by a human, a human who was most likely paid to provide their content.

Young writers, be encouraged. There are many avenues that provide opportunities for you to offer your gift of words. Don’t let the naysayers convince you that this world does not need your ability to paint sentences with ink, or that you can’t make a living by working with words of some sort.
You may be saying, “Yeah, but it’s nearly impossible to make a living as a novelist.” That may be true. Being a novelist alone doesn’t necessarily pay the bills—unless you strike gold and become a huge best-selling author. Unless you establish a loyal readership and produce multiple books per year. And unless you can cultivate other streams of income in areas that would allow you to contribute your expertise in this field.

So if you’re at a crossroads, struggling to understand how to make a living as a writer, here’s a list of writing/book-related jobs that would give you the opportunity to work in the field of your passion.

·      Become a freelance editor
·      Become a freelance writer
·      Become a greeting card writer
·      Become a journalist
·      Teach writing/editing courses—online and offline
·      Work for a publishing company
·      Work for a literary agency
·      Work at a bookstore
·      Tutor kids in creative writing/English
·      Offer marketing/promotional services for authors

And in case you’re asking, “How are you doing it? What path did you choose after high school?”

Great question! After I graduated high school, I enrolled in a community college. About a year later, I pursued a Creative Writing degree at Christian Leadership University. I am now a part-time student and juggling the many hats I wear in the industry. Here’s what my roles look like:

·      I’m an author
·      I work as an Associate Agent at Hartline Literary
·      I work as a YA Acquisitions Editor at Illuminate YA (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas imprint)
·      I’m a freelance writer
·      I’m a freelance editor
·      I teach workshops at writing conferences across the US
·      I manage a Christian teen magazine I founded, Pursue Magazine
·      I coordinate blog tours for authors
·      I teach creative writing to young writers through my online mentorship, Write Now

Remember: You’ve been given your ability and passion to work with words/books for a reason. Do your research, receive wise counsel from your parents and advisors, and then prayerfully make decisions that concern your future. But please, if you feel as though you’ve been called into this field, then whatever you do, don’t write it off due to lack of faith. (Pun not intended!)  
About Tessa
Tessa Emily Hall writes inspirational yet authentic YA fiction to show teens they’re not alone. Her passion for shedding light on clean entertainment and media for teens lead her to a career as an Associate Agent at Hartline Literary Agency, YA Acquisitions Editor for Illuminate YA (LPC Imprint), and Founder/Editor of PursueMagazine.net. Tessa's first teen devotional will release with Bethany House in 2018. She's guilty of making way too many lattes and never finishing her to-read list. When her fingers aren’t flying 116 WPM across the keyboard, she can be found speaking to teens, decorating her insulin pump, and acting in Christian films. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on her blogmailing list, social media (@tessaemilyhall), and website: www.tessaemilyhall.com.
Links 


Have you struggled with the assumption that writing can’t be a real job? Do you hope to pursue a career in the writing/publishing industry?

The Voices of YA Tag

Friday, June 9, 2017

To start things off, let's just say that I LOVE this tag. I mean, a tag all about the YA genre? Count me in! Thanks to Audrey @ Audrey Caylin  for tagging me and to Caitlin @ Quills and Coffee for creating this tag! All right, let's start with the rules....
THE RULES:
Thank the person who tagged you.
Link to the original creator.
Answer the ten questions.
Tag at LEAST two other YA writers/bloggers. 
ABOUT THE WRITERS:
What draws you to YA?
Probably the fact that I am a young adult. xD But seriously, all stuff that has to do with age/maturity levels/number of zits aside, I love the fact that YA is real. It’s raw. It’s relatable. It paints stories with darkness and light, stories that shed hope and grace. 
Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?
My writing process... I’m both a plotter and panster, so I first like to do some plotting. I’ll usually do some character sketches, research, and a plot arc. Then I can unleash the panster inside of me and start writing!
How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?
I’ve been writing for about two years or so. Currently, I’m working to get a novel together that I’d like to submit to agents and publishers. I don’t know what it’ll be, only time will tell, but I’d love to have a novel published by the time I’m 20. 
What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?
I don’t need anything to write, but I do like having a mug of salted caramel hot chocolate with me, and all of my notes on my story outlines, historical research, etc. I don’t mind having a great playlist with me either. =) 
If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer (OTHER THAN “don’t give up”), what would it be?
My one piece of advice would be to be this: Instead of letting your writerly insecurities dog you, write with passion and fall in love with your words. You are an AMAZING writer with breathtaking words. Believe it. Go spin your tales and change the world. 

ABOUT THE BOOKS:
What book still has you reeling from its plot twist? (*no spoilers please*)
THE LOST GIRL OF ASTOR STREET!!!!!! Like… I HAVE NO WORDS JUST TEARS AND SCREECHES AND WHY!?!?!?! 
What books are you most anticipating for this year?
I actually don’t have any books whose releases I’m anticipating. SOMEONE HELP ME AND FIND A BOOK I HAVE TO WAIT FOR!!!! 
In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise?
Most unique…. Probably Illusionarium by Heather Dixon. Alternate realities, fanitllium, Riven… Way unique, if you ask me. 
What is your all-time favorite quote from YA lit (I know, I’m cruel)?
Umm…. ONE QUOTE?!?!?! JUST ONE?!?!?! *begins hyperventilating How? Why? HOW? *mopes* Fine, how about this one… 
What book do you most hope will have a movie adaption?
TO GET TO YOU SOMEONE GET JOANNE BISCHOF’S TO GET TO YOU A MOVIE ADAPTION. Like… Just imagine it. Two surfers, an old van, one skateboarder, a girl and her family in an Airstream…. THAT IS THE BEST BOOK EVER OKAY?!?! *whispers* Sorry, all other books. I still love you too. 

I tag…
Clara @ The Zephyr

What about you? What draws YOU to YA? What is one of your favorite YA quotes? HAVE YOU READ TO GET TO YOU!?!?!?! What’s your writing process like?What books are you looking forward to? Curl up with your favorite puppy and let’s chat!

May Just Happened

Saturday, June 3, 2017

May just happened. And my computer is FINALLY working again after my dear old dog broke the charger. *happy dance* Let's reminisce a bit, shall we? 
Real Life
  • A super fun game night and a visit to a trampoline park with my amazing Bible study happened. Both events were super fun, even though I discovered that I CANNOT do an American Ninja Warrior course without falling off of it. Don't ask. xD 
Hiking... Again. xD But seriously, I love it!
  • My family went on two camping trips this month, one to the Oregon coast and one to the Washington coast. Both trips were SO FUN. The weather was amazing in Oregon, and while we were there, I got to hike part of the Lewis and Clark trail, see bald eagles, sea lions and the most ADORABLE mommy and baby whales…. I could go on. And although the weather wasn’t the greatest for camping in Washington, we got to hang out on the beach and go hiking with friends. I can't wait for more camping trips this summer!
  • Lots of cooking happened this month, including these absolutely delicious cupcakes (check out the recipe here). I think it’s safe to say that they were a hit…. I had no leftovers. xD
Of Notebooks…
Honestly, zero writing got done this month. After all of the craziness of Camp Nano, I took a break, but I’m up and at it again, with several new plot bunnies hopping around. I’m currently plotting a Snow White retelling for Rooglewood Press’s fairytale contest, not to mention working on Hiraeth. And judging from all of my lovely new plot bunnies, Hiraeth will be getting a nice second draft makeover. But for now, enjoy a slightly edited snippet (no spoilers, sorry. xD).

I close my now sticky eyes. “Where are you?” My voice is breathy, almost like a gust of wind that’s shrill and sad all at the same time. “Where are you?” A real breeze carries my question up to Heaven. “Where are you?”

I bow my head. How could he just watch all of the bad things happening down here?

And then, as if God has decided to answer, a faint whisper appears in my heart. Where were you?

I still. Job. He asked the same thing and received the same answer. I can almost see the Almighty shaking his head at me, a soft smile playing on his lips.

Where was I when God painted the sky a soft blue hue? Where was I when he spun clouds out of thin air? Where was I when he crafted the horses I see galloping across the plains? Where was I when he created time and space and dreamed up the entire earth?

Where was I?

The wind comes again, pushing wet strands of hair out of my face. I lift my head up to it, soaking in the cool, the calm. The sun beams down on me like a father’s smile—radiant and warm.

Darling, I was there. I was there for all of it, for all of you. I was there, as I always have been.
And strangely… I know that he was.


Still working on it, but I hope you enjoyed it! =)
Of Novels
22840398
I just LOVE the covers for Heather Dixon's books, don't you?
Not too much reading got crammed into May, but I discovered some new authors that I absolutely LOVE. I thoroughly enjoyed every book I picked up, including Roadside Assistance by Amy Clifton, Illusionarium by Heather Dixon, and The Preacher’s Daughter by Beverly Lewis. *shoos you away to the library* Go read them right now! 
The Playlist



How was YOUR May? Will you be participating in the Rooglewood contest? Have you discovered any new authors? If so, do tell me aaalll about them! Are YOU being attacked by plot bunnies? What did you cook this month? What are your plans for the summer? Let's chat!

The Liebster Award

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Annndddd I'm back. It's been awhile, but here I am, and I've been tagged with the Liebster Award by both the amazing Karyssa Norton @ No Coffee, No Can Do and Pip and Lolly @ Pip and Lolly. But first, the rules... 
Rules:
Link back to the person who tagged you.
Answer the eleven questions.
Tag eleven bloggers and let them know.
Ask your tagged bloggers eleven questions.
So first, Karyssa's questions.....
How long have you been writing? 

When I was little, I’d crank out bits of poetry (my first poem was titled “Apple Cider Bubble Bath”) and create my own picture books, but I first started writing seriously about two years ago, when I first learned that I was actually good at this whole writing thing through a school project. It was then that I began writing longer stories beyond trips to the carnival and it was then that I started my blog.

When you write, do you like to type or write by hand? 

Despite my many escapades with writing novels in notebooks, I mainly end up typing. First of all, my hand prefers it. Like, REALLY prefers it. Secondly, it's SO much faster than writing by hand, not to mention neater. Lastly, there's something about that clickety click sound as my fingers sweep across the keyboard that is so satisfying. Am I the only one? =) And yes, I just copied, pasted, and slightly edited this answer from the Sunshine Blogger tag. xD

Oxford comma: yay or nay and why? 

*cheers for the oxford comma* Yay! Because that’s what I was taught to be proper grammar when I was a little girl, it just looks right (in my humble opinion, that is), and I love the name.

Do you prefer movies or shows? 
No, my family's tv does not look like that. Sorry. xD
Shows. Because then I can spend several seasons with the characters I love instead of just an hour and a half. It’s the same with stand-alone novels and book series for me. I prefer series for the same reason. =)

If you could only visit one other country, which one would it be? 

Ummmm…. Seeing that I’ve already visited a bunch, I’d head to Uganda (again). I miss the red dirt and smiling faces SO much. There’s no place on earth that I’d rather be than in the humidity and sunshine of Uganda.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? 

I’d say I’m an introvert, but once you get to know me, well…. Just ask my friends. You’ve been warned. xD

What's one random thing about you that few people know? 

One random thing…. Only one? *pouts* Well, I happen to be obsessed with typewriters. Seriously. I love them. They’re so pretty and they make that lovely click-click-ding-ding sound and they have some of my favorite font and—

I just love typewriters.
What is your favorite animal? 
I want one. 
*head bang* I have to choose between itty bitty otters, super cute sea lions, cuddly puppies, and fluffy chinchillas?! I don’t do well with these types of questions. I suppose my favorite animal would be a horse. I’ve loved nearly everything about horses ever since I was little, petting them, riding them, seeing them outside the car window, writing about them…. *sigh*

What quote (from a book, movie, YouTube video, etc) do you find yourself saying often? 

Believe it or not, it’s a Disney quote. From Frozen. Whenever my sisters and I are bored, I almost always ask, “Do you wanna build a snowman?” And you know what? They don’t tell me to go away!

If you could see yourself from someone else's perspective, whose perspective would you choose and why? (It could be a family member's, friend's, your local librarian, etc.) 

I’d choose to see myself from my sister Malia’s perspective because her perspective would be very honest and down to earth, so I’d be able to see what I’m doing right and what I’m not doing right.

Would you rather live in the city, or the country? 
Isn't it so fairytale like? =)
The country, for sure! Just think about it. *daydreams* A quaint little cottage where I can read, write, and bake all day and then I’ll walk outside and pet my pretty horses and cuddle the baby rabbits and watch the sunset and…. *cars whizz by* I did say I was daydreaming, right?

And now my next nominee's questions.....
Why do you blog? 

I blog because it’s a way I can connect with other writers in an awesome community where we encourage each other and help each other grow. I blog because it’s a great way to help start my dream writing career. I blog because I enjoy writing posts and talking to my lovely readers in the comments.

What makes you feel on top of the world? 

Lots of stuff make me feel on top of the world. A scoop of salted caramel ice cream. A hug from my little brother. My dog deciding to (finally) cuddle with me. Spending time with my friends. Being sent into jaw dropping awe because of God’s incredible creation and His awesome majesty. It’s the little things and the big things that make me feel like I could fly on top of the world.

How do you cheer yourself up after a bad day or disappointment? 

I’ll either write a woe-is-me letter to God or binge read. Or both. Cuddling with and whining to my dog Wrigley helps too.

If you could live in any book for a week, which book would it be? 
*sigh* All the pretty books...
Okay, let’s see…. Not The Hunger Games, I wouldn’t last a week in that book. Probably The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. That would be SO fun to live in Narnia for a week. I’d get to wear pretty dresses, ride unicorns, stay at Cair Paravel, have tea with Mr. Tumnus, and ASLAN. Enough said.

If you could play any character in any movie, TV series, book etc. who would it be? 

Elizabeth Thatcher from When Calls The Heart. I’d love to teach a one room schoolhouse in an adorable little town out in the middle nowhere! Plus, she’s a writer, and I can find myself relating to her on quite a few occasions.

What is your favorite place you’ve ever visited or lived? 

I actually don’t have a favorite and simply cannot pick one in the place I’ve lived area. Each place I’ve lived has been special and unique, both in the location, the people, and the culture. But in the realm of places I’ve visited…. This is also super hard, but probably Uganda. I love that country to death.

If money wasn’t an object, where do you want to be in five years? 

If money wasn’t an object…. I’d want to have a big giant house in some foreign country with a bunch of adorable kids, and I’d bake them cookies and write them stories when we wouldn’t be out and about serving wherever we could. Basically, I want to be a missionary/writer/blogger/cookie baker/mom to many (aka like Katie Davis).

Are you a girly girl or would you consider yourself more of a tomboy? 
I’m not a girly girl (sparkles and the color pink don’t appeal that much to me), but I’m not necessarily a tomboy either (I mean…. What’s wrong with a day at the mall?) I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. For example, I’d love to go on a hike and watch a baseball game, but then I’d also like t
o smear on facials and binge watch Downton Abbey.

What is your first memory? 

That’s a hard one (as if these others haven’t been difficult). I think I can vaguely remember chasing ducks somewhere…. But that’s about it.

How do you tell people you love them? 

I don’t always say it, but I like to do random things to show people that I care through little things like asking if I can help them, how they’re doing, and engaging in a conversation, but also in things a bit more noticeable like leaving someone a note or doing a chore. I don’t just like to say “I love you,” I like to show it.

What do you want others to see in you? 
I want other to look at me and see a young woman who loves the Lord with all her heart and pursues him no matter what. I want them to see Jesus through my imperfect self; I want them to see a light in the dark.
I Tag...
Anyone who wants to do this tag! Surely eleven people will want to do this tag, right? =)

My Questions...
I'm going to be stealing some questions from my awesome nominees, since I'm feeling very un-original right now. =) 
  1. How long have you been writing?
  2. Oxford comma: yay or nay and why?
  3. What's one random thing about you that few people know?
  4. What's a quote that you find yourself saying often?
  5. Would you rather live in the city or the country?
  6. If you could be any character in one of you favorite books, who would you be? 
  7. Which national park do you want to visit one day?
  8. What is your favorite thing to cook?
  9. What makes you feel on top of the world?
  10. If you could live in any book for a week, which book would it be? 
  11. What do you want others to see in you? 

*gives you candy if you made it through this post* Will you be doing this tag? =) What's one of your favorite animals? Would YOU rather live in a tiny cottage or a modern apartment? What is one of your favorite memories? What is a quote that you love? Grab some ice cream and let's chat!

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